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Nanjing ready to remember history

By CANG WEI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-09 08:01

City prepares commemorative activities to honor 80th anniversary of massacre

Nanjing, Jiangsu province, is holding various activities to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, which falls on Dec 13.

Zhang Jianjun, curator of the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, said that seminars, books and exhibitions about the massacre are being organized.

"A growing number of people, especially young people, have attended commemorative activities. They sign their names on banners to mourn the victims, go hiking across Nanjing's former 'International Safety Zone', and recite letters written by the soldiers to their family members."

"It's for people to commemorate history, mourn the dead and stick to the path of peaceful development," he said.

Several modern dramas, Yueju Opera performances and a documentary concerning the Nanjing Massacre are on show in Nanjing. The documentary, Uncovering the Atrocities of the Japanese Army's "Comfort Women" System, will be aired on the documentary channel of China Central Television.

On Dec 13, China's top leaders will gather at the square of the Nanjing massacre memorial hall to remember the victims. The national flag will fly half-mast, and monks from China, Japan and South Korea will attend the World Peace Rite to chant for the victims.

In the morning, ceremonies to commemorate the victims will be held at 17 mass graves, 12 communities and six patriotic education bases across Nanjing.

In many cities around the world, commemorative activities will be held by 208 Chinese communities, including Toronto, Sydney, Moscow and Los Angeles.

In October, the legislature of the Canadian province of Manitoba passed its second reading of the Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day Act that set to establish Dec 13 as Nanjing Massacre Commemoration Day. The same month, the Canadian province of Ontario passed a motion recognizing Dec 13 as Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day.

In 1937, around 300,000 Chinese were killed and 20,000 women raped in a six-week rampage that began on Dec 13, after Japanese troops captured Nanjing, which was then China's capital.

In February 2014, China's top legislature designated Dec 13 as National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims.

Du Guangda, who lost his father during the massacre, said that he hopes history can be remembered to prevent similar tragedies.

"My father went missing finding shelters at Xinjiekou (in downtown Nanjing). His name was carved recently on the wailing wall of the memorial hall. My grandparents never met their son again and my mother cried all day long for years."
"I hope that no one will experience such a heartbreaking tragedy again," he said.

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